During 13th November 2016 merged a lot of images about a Hezbollah parade on the Syrian-Lebanese border town of Al-Qusayr it was very interesting as far as we could saw an unexpected huge armored force owned by the group.This article is a MUST READ (here).
We will divide the article in to three parts, the first will be dedciated to the material found on the images in general, the second will treat the images on their own and in the third part I am going to expose my conclusions.
There were a lot of unconfirmed rumors about Assad supplying heavy material to Hezbollah, even during the 2013 battle for Al Qusayr the Institute for the Study of War said that Hezbollah probably operated T-54 or T-55 tanks however we never see before such evidence of heavy material in hands of Hezbollah this represnts a quality leap on their improvement as a military force able to fight in hybrid and now more conventional conflicts.
I don't know this guy but he did good work. He gives an order of battle, informs his readers when he speculates on details and documents when it's confirmable. Again! Read the article!
For all the SOCOM bubbas out there I have bad news for you. Your job of curb stomping terrorists is about to come to an end in the Middle East. From my chair SOCOM allowed themselves to be "overused" for questionable missions that could have been better handled by conventional forces, they got caught up in the raid-raid and more raid mindset and they started believing the press clippings.
But back on task. Why is SOCOM about to find its effectiveness shut down in the Middle East? Because Special Ops is vulnerable to conventional forces and these terrorist are starting to look more and more like nation state armies. via ADRP 3-05 Army Special Operations Forces
The mission or tasks must be operationally feasible. ARSOF are not structured for attrition or force-on-force warfare and should not be assigned missions beyond their capabilities. ARSOF commanders and their staffs must consider the vulnerability of ARSOF units to larger, more heavily armed or mobile forces, particularly in hostile territory.The ramifications of this are clear. Beyond Special Ops, you have the Marine Corps moving toward distributed warfare. Even more worrying is the idea of Expeditionary Rifle Squads and Company Landing Teams. Deploying these Marine Corps formations at distance (they're practicing 1,000 mile raids) against "classic" terrorists might be a winner. Against these new hybrid forces it's a recipe for disaster.
For our friends in the region (really only Israel, maybe Jordan and some foolish individuals might say Saudi Arabia) the threat compounds. The Marine Corps once focused on motivation, the will to fight and the desire of each Marine to win that fight. I don't hear that as much anymore with the move towards a more tech centric Marine Corps. Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations pound that into their recruits. When these terrorists, using hybrid formations or even mirroring nation state armies goes head to head against our friends (both real and imagined) we can expect them to be as motivated to win or even more motivated depending on the country being fought.
Combat is changing. It's going toward an Armored/Mech future that will see even "low level" enemies being equipped with Tanks, APCs, IFVs and Self Propelled Guns.